i-Docs 2016 panel: VR – Inventing the medium

Virtual Reality presents creative and ethical challenges – featuring voices from the Guardian and the BBC, this panel is a chance to hear from people and organisations who are using VR to tell non-fiction stories.

The embrace of Virtual Reality as a non-fiction platform has been a remarkable rapid development within emerging documentary. A wave of experimentation has followed the appearance of the Oculus Rift and its competitor products – with creators fascinated by the documentary potential of the visceral sense of presence that VR offers.

But this new medium brings a new set of challenges; What language of storytelling works in a spatial environment? How to make sense of the position of the viewer within a 360 experience? What are the implications of VR for the documentary subject and for the audience?

This panel features insights from Darren Emerson on Witness 360: 7/7; The Guardian’s Francesca Panetta on 6×9, a VR documentary on solitary confinement; Catherine Allen who co-produced Easter Rising: Voice of a Rebel with Crossover Labs, VRTOV and the BBC; and Zillah Watson, BBC Research and Development & BBC News Labs on their experiments with 360 video in The Frequency of Honey project.